Through the first two days of the Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. Northern Division event on the Potomac River, the fishing was really quite good, and practice expectations were surpassed. On the final day, only two pros caught more than 13 pounds and half the Top 10 failed to wrangle a limit. Still, they got there, and along the way, the crew showcased a variety of ways to approach a tough bite on a late-summer tidal system.
3. Maybe the most consistent pro the whole week, Nolan Gaskin flipped a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver in the back of a creek on pads and wood. Because he wasn’t punching like the top two pros, he relied on 3/8- and ¼-ounce weights.
4. Nick Hatfield enjoyed a good topwater bite with a Lobina Rio Rico on Day 1 and Day 2, but did his best work with a 3/8-ounce Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer and a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw on the final day.
7. Frank Ippoliti plied hard cover near D.C. with a 5/16-ounce Jewel Baits Finesse Jig with a Berkley PowerBait MaxScent Power Chunk and the venerable Z-Man Evergreen ChatterBait JackHammer and Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw combo.
8. A whole slew of baits caught fish for Jason Williams including a green pumpkin weightless Zoom Super Fluke, an ima Finesse Popper, a Strike King Rage Craw, a Whopper Plopper 130 and a wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko.
9. Day 3 was not kind to Matt Becker, but he’d wrapped up Angler of the Year at that point, so it took the sting off it a little. On the week, virtually all of Becker’s bigger fish came punching a Googan Baits Bandito Bug with a 1 1/2-ounce weight.
10. Danny Shanz took an unusual approach to the Potomac, throwing a buzzbait with a swimbait trailer and a homemade ¼-ounce spinnerbait with a single No. 4.5 willow leaf blade.